Tennessee State Parks report record camping during pandemic

Local Coronavirus Coverage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennesseans have been taking advantage of the great outdoors over the last two months as Tennessee State Parks say they’ve seen a record level of camping.

According to a release from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, October broke the previous record of nights camping at state parks with 62,124.

The previous one-month record had been broken in June 2020 with 57,472 nights.

TDEC reports that November saw more than 36,000 camping nights sold at state parks, which is the highest number ever recorded for November. In 2019, November only saw 15,000 camping nights sold.

The release says four of the top 10 camping months ever recorded by TDEC at state parks have occurred this year due to the pandemic.

June, July and October 2020 are now the three most-camped months ever recorded, according to TDEC. September 2020 also made the top 10 as the sixth most-camped month with 48,350 camping nights sold.

“The impact of COVID-19 simply underscores a growing awareness that the outdoors are a sanctuary for mental and physical health,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said. “The appeal of louder, busier, and crowded entertainment venues has given way to the space, freedom and connection the outdoors provide.”

Tennessee State Parks consists of more than 3,000 campsites across the state.

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